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Northern lights could be visible in New York Saturday: How to watch

An image dated Feb. 28, 2019 and made

An image dated Feb. 28, 2019 and made available March 1, 2019 showing a rare sight Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, in Finse, the southern part of Norway, late 28 February 2019. Normally northern lights are visible much further up in north. Photo Credit: EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock/Heiko Junge

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (TCA) — Skywatchers in parts of the United States, including New York, may be able to see the northern lights this weekend.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm alert for Saturday.

The range and intensity of the northern lights, which are typically only visible in areas of high latitudes (like the North Pole), have increased this week because the sun set off an explosion. The blast caused a large cloud of charged particles — a coronal mass ejection — that will hit the Earth’s magnetic field as part of the storm.

The northern lights appear when the charged particles from the sun strike atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, exciting those atoms, causing them to light up, according to EarthSky.com.

Some adventurers travel far and wide to view the northern lights, commonly seen in the northern countries of Iceland, Alaska and Canada.

However, the SWPC states that this weekend the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, may be seen “as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.”

In order to get a good look at the phenomenon, skies need to be clear — so check the weather before heading out Saturday night. Also — you’ll want to head outside the city as far as possible, in order to get away from the light pollution.

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©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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